Everyone should have a healthy smile that they’re happy to share! America’s ToothFairy, a nonprofit organization that provides resources to increase access to dental care and oral health education programs, is partnering with Sun Life and DentaQuest to shine a light on oral health disparity starting in February, National Children’s Dental Health Month. Through the Share Your Smile campaign, these organizations aim to build awareness of dental health inequities, the effect it has on children as they grow, and actions people can take to help.
“We are really excited about this campaign,” remarked Jill Malmgren, executive director of America’s ToothFairy. “In addition to teaching families about the impact of tooth decay throughout a child’s life, the Share Your Smile campaign resources also encourage teens to consider careers in dentistry to support marginalized communities where children often grow up with higher rates of decay.”
Few things feel as good as sharing a smile with someone and getting a smile in return. Sadly, not everyone is happy to share their smile. In communities across America, more than 64 million people, including millions of children, do not have equal access to dental care, leading to higher rates of dental disease. Indigenous people, communities of color, people living in rural or remote areas, migrant populations and individuals with special healthcare needs often face barriers to accessing the dental care they need to maintain a healthy smile. To make matters worse, many within these communities don’t know how to prevent dental disease.
“DentaQuest is committed to helping everyone access the dental care they need to be healthy,” said Steve Pollock, president of DentaQuest, part of Sun Life U.S. “We are proud to again partner with America’s ToothFairy to raise awareness about the importance of oral health – especially in children – and to help bring about meaningful change in communities that need it most.”
The Share Your Smile campaign includes:
- free, downloadable educational materials developed for students and parents
- a free social media kit for oral health advocate
- an educational website, ShareYourSmileCampaign.or
- a joke contest for kids to share smiles with others
In addition to information about oral health hygiene, the campaign also offers information about:
- the many ways that smiling impacts quality of life
- why millions of children don’t have access to dental care
- how a child’s unhealthy smile impacts them into adulthood
- information about communities with higher rates of tooth decay due to unequal access to dental services and oral health education
- careers that help kids have healthy smiles
Sun Life acquired DentaQuest in 2022. The organizations share a commitment to broadening access to health benefits for underserved communities and supporting oral healthcare for all. DentaQuest is the largest provider of Medicaid dental benefits in the U.S., with more than 33 million members.
To learn more about the campaign and to access the free educational resources, please visit ShareYourSmileCampaign.org.
About Sun Life
Sun Life U.S. is one of the largest providers of employee and government benefits, helping more than 50 million Americans access the healthcare and coverage they need. Through employers, industry partners and government programs, Sun Life offers a portfolio of benefits and services, including dental, vision, disability, absence management, life, supplemental health, medical stop-loss insurance, and healthcare navigation.
Sun Life U.S. and affiliated companies in asset management employ approximately 8,000 people in the U.S. Group insurance policies are issued by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Wellesley Hills, Mass.), except in New York, where policies are issued by Sun Life and Health Insurance Company (U.S.) (Lansing, Mich.).
DentaQuest, part of Sun Life U.S., is a purpose-driven health care company dedicated to improving the oral health of all. We do this through Preventistry — our inclusive approach to quality care and expanded access built on trusted partnerships between patients, providers and payors.
As one of the nation’s largest and most experienced Medicaid dental benefits administrators, we manage dental and vision benefits for more than 33 million Americans through a nationwide network of providers in all 50 states. Our outcomes-based, cost-effective dental solutions are designed for Medicaid and CHIP, Medicare Advantage, small and large businesses, and individuals. At the same time, we are expanding our footprint of more than 70 oral health centers in six states to deliver direct patient care in rural and underserved populations.
About America’s Toothfairy: National Children’s Oral Health Foundation
As a resource provider, America’s ToothFairy increases access to oral health care by supporting nonprofit clinics and community partners delivering education, prevention, and treatment services for underserved children. Since its inception in 2006, America’s ToothFairy has distributed more than $23.6 million in donated products, educational materials, and financial grants to improve oral health outcomes for children and youth in need.
For more information, visit AmericasToothFairy.org.